FILE - Utah Gov. Spencer Cox

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox

(The Center Square) – Three Utah lawmakers are proposing a cut in the state's income tax rate of 4.95%.

Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, is proposing a reduction to 4.9%, which would give about 1.1 million Utahans an additional $46 per year, according to the bill's fiscal note. The bill would impact the state's budget by $78.5 million each year but by only $53.8 million in fiscal year 2023. 

Vickers' plan also would decrease corporate taxes by $881,000 overall in fiscal year 2023, according to the fiscal note.

Rep. Travis Seegmiller's proposed income tax bill would give Utahans a $198 a year tax break by reducing the income tax rate to 4.75%. The St. George Republican's bill would cost the state $320.6 million annually, according to the bill's fiscal note. Corporate tax revenues would decrease $30.3 million. 

Sen. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, is proposing a more drastic drop in the income tax rate to 4.6%. A fiscal note for his bill was not available. 

Gov. Spencer Cox is asking state lawmakers to offer a grocery tax rebate. 

“Some have proposed eliminating the sales tax on food altogether or cutting income tax rates,” Cox said during his budget address in December. “But this grocery tax credit will actually provide a more substantial benefit to the households who need it most: lower- and middle-income families, especially those with kids.”

An analysis by the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget shows a two-parent household with six children would receive a $400 benefit through a tax credit but only a $185 benefit with a food tax cut, according to a December news release.

Rep. Rosemary Lesser, D-Ogden wants to eliminate grocery taxes altogether and plans to introduce a bill that would do so. 

"The food tax is one of the most regressive taxes in our state, and it disproportionately hurts those who are already struggling to make ends meet," Lesser said in a Facebook post.

The pitch for tax decreases comes at a time when tax revenue per capita has grown, mostly because of the influx of federal COVID-19 relief dollars.

In 2020, the tax revenue per capita was $1,213, according to the House Majority's 2022 policy pillars. It jumped to $1,828 in 2021.

"Utah is well-positioned to provide tax relief to its residents but we must do so carefully because we don't want to make long-term plans based on a short-term increase in revenue," they said. 

Lawmakers return to Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Cox will give his state of the state address Jan. 20. 

Associate Editor

Kim Jarrett's career spans over 30 years with stops in radio, print and television. She has won awards from both the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.